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Superboy #15 - Shattered Steel!

3

Will Superman's armor save Superboy from the wrath of H'el?

The Good

Having this cross-over in all three "Super" titles (SUPERMAN, SUPERGIRL and SUPERBOY) means that we get the same, consistent story nearly every week. Last week we saw H'el's appearance in SUPERMAN, and this week we see the continuation of that story in SUPERBOY. The good thing here is that the story feels consistent, so if you didn't read SUPERMAN last week, you might be a bit confused because this issue picks up where that last issue of SUPERMAN left off.

Personally, since I have been reading this cross-over, I think having this consistency is a good thing, but if you are one of those people who has only been reading SUPERBOY you might not appreciate the consistency.

The cover is pretty compelling in that it's basically stating Superboy will die without Superman's help. If you've been keeping up with all three of these titles and both these characters, you may have been looking forward to seeing a team-up between these two characters. Here, it seems, we finally get that. I think that in utilizing Clark's character we get this really organize integration of Kon-El into the Superman fold. Sure he's a clone, and sure Clark is somewhat protective of him, but the fact that these two are teaming up against a common foe who claims he is from Krypton, it sort of reinforces this relationship between them. It establishes a sort of a bond.

Writer Tom DeFalco keeps in mind that there may be readers picking up SUPERBOY this week just because of the cross-over, so he does a great job catching new readers up on the who Superboy is, what created him and what he's been up to lately.

One of the things that is sometimes forgotten or overlooked by writers is that Superman is not only super-strong, but he's super-smart, too. I think DeFalco recognizes this and utilizes it, which is a great scene in this issue. I loved that he went to both Dr. Veritas and Cyborg for professional opinions regarding the state of Superboy's health, but left it up to him to solve the issue, demonstrating that he is intelligent, too.

The Bad

Superboy's internal thought bubbles in the scene where he is being taken to the Fortress of Solitude by Superman are pretty goofy and make the character seem sort of hokey. It just felt really forced and not very likeable, particularly for a character who is only half conscious and almost dead. I think it would have been better if we had the internal thoughts of Superman in this scene if we were to believe Superboy is on the brink of expiring.

The issue starts out pretty well in that we get a great scene with Superman's rescue of Superboy, but the issue sort of nosedives from that point. The dialogue begins to get a little bit corny and not very realistic. And while I liked that Superman's intellect was stressed upon in this issue, I wasn't much of a fan of what came afterwards. The dialogue between these two characters just doesn't seem to read very well and was not very well executed. The tension was good, but overall, the dialogue just feels really campy and silly. Part of the reason why it wasn't as good as it could have been is because the writer feels the need to spell everything out for the reader.

I was also not a very big fan of the art in this issue. I understand that the issue had four different pencilers, but I don't think their styles should feel so drastically different that it pulls the reader out of the story. Unfortunately, that happened to me here.

The Verdict

The issue had its redeeming qualities; it was great to see the interaction between Superboy and Superman and it's exciting to look forward to the development of their relationship in the future. Having said that, there is definitely a lot of things I didn't really enjoy about this issue. First, a lot of the dialogue felt forced and corny, and I thought it could have been better executed. I really wasn't crazy about the art in this issue, I felt it was lacking and that the various different art styles on the issue only served to pull me out of the story. Also, it's a bit odd how H'el just shows up out of nowhere. Very strange. I think the good things about this issue is that it does give fans some insight into Superboy and how he differs from both Superman and Superboy as far as his power set and molecular make-up go. I thought that was definitely interesting. Overall, not the best issue of Superboy but not the worst one either.

11 Comments

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ccraft

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Edited By ccraft

I dont understand... why does it keep showing Superman in his old costume, ugh. I only been getting the Superman title.

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Superbat420

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Edited By Superbat420

Yea supermans old costume is probably the dumbest, stupidest thing they've done with the new 52, makes him look like a tool, in regular clothes and a cape....with work boots

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cc1738

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Edited By cc1738

I thought it sucked. The dialogue was bad and the internal thoughts for Superboy were even worse. The art wasn't great either.

I hate Defalco as a writer. I've liked both the Superman and the Supergirl issues in the crossover and hated the Superboy ones. I also hated both issues he wrote for Nightwing. I wish someone else was writing the Superboy portions of the story. It would help the crossover alot.

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mikeyar19

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Edited By mikeyar19

the art, the art, the art, THe ART, THE ART, THE ART!! ARRRGHHHHH. Why have 6726986398172 artists for one of the most pivotal issues of the series??!?!?

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UltimateSMfan

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Edited By UltimateSMfan

did Sara giv this a 3 coz she hates superman??? Lol,have to say the art changes were irritating the only part i liked was the ending with H'el n when sb gets sm's suit, storywise i thought it was ok though it could have been put forth better is all...im still excited for supergirl!

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sentryman555

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Edited By sentryman555

"Part of the reason why it wasn't as good as it could have been is because the writer feels the need to spell everything out for the reader."

This was my only major problem with the issue. Everything that was going on the writer seemed to have to also tell us why it was happening. And not really in a creative way.

But I do hope he keeps the suit for awhile. It'd be pretty cool if he learned how to change it black.

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doordoor123

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Edited By doordoor123

Did you read Batman this week? Probably Snyder's worst dialogue ever. It was so corny and unrealistic. Probably more then any other book I read this week.

I don't think the dialogue was as bad in this book, but it definitely wasn't good. What bothered me was the choppiness. The ending was terrible.

I'm still enjoying this somewhat, but this issue just wasn't very good. I was kind of bored.

You'd think that H'el on Earth would include more H'el. I felt that we shouldn't have ever seen most of the stuff we've seen in this issue. It felt like a filler.

And didn't Grant Morrison put the Fortress of Solitude in space? Why is it a big ice-thing now?

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Target_X

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Edited By Target_X

@doordoor123:

He did, but that's changing/has changed. It supposed to be revealed in Action, or Superman; I forget which.

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stephens2177

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Edited By stephens2177

superboy is gonna meet lex luthor in superman#15,that is awesome.

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Zoch81

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Edited By Zoch81

I thought was ok issue the dialogue wasn't bad but could have been better same goes for the art as wel,l I glad still has early plots like his dna and his donors overall I liked issue but could been better.

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deactivated-5a4e0e8ea3dfb

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A horrible issue all around. I would put this at a 1.5 or 2, the 3 stars was generous. Neither artist was good, the internal dialog was horrible, and the pace of the issue was wrong. The idea of a third DNA strand is unnecessary. Would have been better just to say humanity has great psionic/psychokinetic potential and the telekinesis is the result of a kryptonian-human hybrid. The third strand just feels unnecessary.

What annoyed me the most, however, was the continuing depiction of a Superman that doesn't seem to know anything about Krypton and in many ways doesn't seem to care to find out. He's had the battle armor for five years and he doesn't know anything about it? He never created more? He's got the entire Kryptonian database of knowledge in his fortress (had Brainiac in Action Comics but I don't think we've seen anything of an A.I. in Superman) and he hasn't studied a thing about his homeworld except the language? Its pretty clear he still retains his perfect memory, so you'd think he'd spend one day speed reading through every piece of history, literature, art, science, philosophy, and any other subject from or about Krypton in order to understand his homeworld and people. It would still be artificial and without context, just as he has no natural kryptonian accent, but at least he wouldn't appear dumb and ignorant. Superman isn't dumb or ignorant. Yeah, in his origin he doesn't know about Krypton. But he's had the technology and information available to him for 5 YEARS!!! It doesn't seem he's made use of it at all, which is just poor writing all around for the Team Superman writing staff.

Also, why didn't a cape appear for Superboy? It was clearly re-absorbed back into the shield (which, by the way, is one of the more positive changes to the uniform in my opinion as it not only allows Clark Kent to be drawn in a more modern way but also does a great job of showing just how technologically advanced Krypton was) so why didn't it appear when Superboy got the suit. Then, when Superman changes into his old style he's got no cape in one page and as soon as the art changes he has a cape again. But he's only got 1 cape and it got absorbed into the shield. So where did it come from?

Overall a terrible issue for the little it gave us about Superboy and moving the crossover along.